Last year started with a move across the country for Hubby, Rocky and me. We moved from Northern Virginia to the central valley of California for my husband’s job. We are here temporarily but we are making the most of it. For me this has included getting back to quilt making and learning more and more about the art and techniques daily.
I had never made anything textile for my parents. I sing so they have the occasional studio recordings I made over the last decade but to make them something with my own two hands was something I wanted to do. My sister, Sonja Sweterlitsch, is a painter (she has a show at the Fe Gallery in Pittsburgh right now!) and has been creating works of art that my parents have displayed in their home for years. I really wanted to make them each a quilt that they could hug, touch and use to keep warm while reading or napping. So I did!!
I started visiting quilting blogs in the spring upon our arrival in California and in my browsing I discovered tutorials on blogs. How wonderful! Free patterns designed by bloggers just like me! The one that really caught my eye was the Granny Square Quilt Block Tutorial by Blue Elephant Stitches. I just fell in love with this block! It was so cute and I knew I had to make it for my mom. She became a grandma in the spring of 2011 when Sonja had my niece G Rose and she’s been a fur-grandma to Rocky since 2003 so I thought it was perfect.
My next goal was finding the fabrics to go into this block. I knew I wanted something fresh, bright and happy for my mom’s quilt. After making long lists of collection names I decided on GOOD FORTUNE by Kate Spain for Moda. The dragonfly that is repeated in the different colorways of the fabric really spoke to me, as did the Asian influence in the patterns and the title Good Fortune. Pairing it with a cool white tonal fabric for the background that I found at Joann’s Fabric Store made for a beautiful Granny Square quilt. The border fabric was a lucky find at Harts Fabric. I had run out of the background fabric and needed something to border with. After a long and deperate search in brick & mortar stores and on-line I found a great white tonal with a larger geometric pattern than the background fabric had. After completing the quilt top I had it quilted on the long arm machine at the shop I work at. I selected the dragonfly quilting pattern and it came out beautifully. I backed and bound it in the light blue dragonfly fabric.
I think Mom loved it!
Dad’s quilt came out so well and I know he loves it because he tells me all the time. I used the Disappearing 9 Patch block to showcase Joel Dewberry’s Aviary II collection in the Granite colorway. It came together quickly and after bordering it I got it to roughly the same size as my mom’s quilt. I wanted a masculine fabric collection and knew Dad would love the bird fabric because of his love for our feathered friends. I backed it in the black bird on a branch fabric from the collection.
Dad likes to read while staying warm under his quilt. He was beaming when I gave it to him!
Hubby and I had gone home for my twentieth high school reunion at the end of July 2012 and it was on that trip that I presented my parents with their quilts. It was a proud day for me.